The Shut-Up-and-Give-it-to-Me-Quick Version:
This cookbook has become my go-to and in case you aren’t sold on just the delicious recipes, you’ll also find yourself laughing pretty hard. There’s nothing better than someone who gets food and, trust me, Chrissy Teigen gets it!
The I-Like-to-be-Wrapped-Up-in-All-the-Details Version:
There’s something that is so relatable about Chrissy Teigen; we may not all be models with a great body, but I can so easily relate to her foodie personality. She seems to live and breathe food and that’s the only way I know how to live. I don’t understand people who eat for sustenance and not enjoyment. To me, food is an expression – of culture, of self, of passion. There’s nothing more satisfying than delicious meal. The taste, for me, lingers beyond the speed at which I take the food from plate to mouth, it’s something you’ll hear me talking about and lusting over for weeks to come. I’ll tell my family and friends about it and I’ll mentally plan out how quickly I can go back to the restaurant or whip up the dish. I’m not normally enticed by cookbooks, especially the celebrity kind; however, something about Chrissy’s constant twitter dialogue and media presence makes me feel like she knows what she’s talking about. I find myself laughing at her foodie tweets because I can relate. This is what made me so excited about her cookbook. When it arrived in the mail I found myself gawking at the pictures and laughing at her witty descriptions and stories. It was somewhere between “our kitchen has seen way more activity than our hot tub or sex dungeon” and “I don’t want to be one of those dead-inside laughing-with-a-salad chicks” that my love for this book was solidified.
The real question was if the food would hold up to my excitement. Could this, in fact, be my go-to? Would I find myself referring to the book again and again? I’m here to tell you that it does hold up and I’ve already found myself going back to it numerous times. It’s the recipes, it’s the comedy, it’s everything a good cookbook should be and I can guarantee that in a short amount of time the pages will be grease stained, covered in Thai sweet chili sauce with minced garlic pressed in.
I am sharing the first recipe I tried from this book because it’s one I’ve often thought of as challenging. I love a good fish taco, but I never imagined replicating it in my own kitchen. The real stamp of approval came when the boyfriend (who for some weird reason doesn’t like fish tacos – or those that he’s tried) said that these were delicious. The only fish tacos he’s ever enjoyed!
For the spicy mayo:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup Sriracha
* I didn’t have mayo (and was trying to cut some calories, Chrissy would probably disapprove) so I simply slathered Sriracha on the tortilla.
For the fish:
- 3 tbsps. chili powder
- 1 1/2 tbsps. minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
- 1 1/2 tsps. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tbsps. canola oil
I used grapeseed oil because that’s what I prefer and it came out great!
- 1 1/2 pounds tilapia fillets (or your favorite white fish)
For the tacos:
- 12 corn tortillas
- 1 cup finely shredded red cabbage
- 2 small tomatoes, diced
- 6 radishes, thinly sliced or julienned
I omitted the radishes, my grocery list was getting long and I didn’t think I’d miss them too much. Still delicious!
- 1/2 cup sliced scallions
- 1 large avocado sliced
- Pepper’s hot green pepper sauce (see ingredients below)
- Cilantro sprigs and lime wedges, for serving
Pepper’s Hot Green Pepper Sauce:
- 4 serrano peppers
- 6 cloves garlic
- 3 tbsps. fish sauce
- 1/2 tbsp. brown sugar
- Juice and zest of 1/2 lime
Make the spicy mayo: in a bowl, stir together the mayo and Sriracha until smooth.
Cook the Fish: In a bowl, combine the chili powder, garlic, salt, pepper, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil. Rub the spice mixture all over the fish. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and when the oil just startes to smoke, add the fish in one layer and cook until slightly charred, 3 minutes per side. Remove from the heat, cool, and flake the fish.
Pepper’s Hot Sauce: In a blender, combine the peppers, garlic and 1/4 cup water and pulse about 15 times to get everything going, then blend until almost smooth (some bits and seeds are OK), about 15 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the fish sauce, brown sugar, and lime juice. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for 1 week.
Assemble the tacos: Warm the tortillas, two by two, in a dry skillet over medium heat, flipping after a few seconds. stack the hot tortillas to keep them warm. Spread 1 tablespoon of the spicy mayo on each tortilla, then top with some fish. Top each taco with some cabbage, tomato, radish and scallion. Then top each taco with avocado. Drizzle with some of Pepper’s hot green pepper sauce. Garnish with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.